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Guinea's Election An Example For All

Guinea president elect Alpha Conde is surrounded by supporters in Conakry, Guinea, Nov 16, 2010 (file photo)

The promise of a return to civilian rule in Guinea has at long last been fulfilled.

The promise of a return to civilian rule in Guinea has at long last been fulfilled as the nation's Supreme Court confirmed Alpha Conde as the winner of last month's presidential run-off election.

The court validated provisional results giving Conde 52.52 percent of the vote and agreed with international observers that despite some charges of irregularities, the voting was free and fair. Conde's rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, accepted the results, and he and his party are considering Conde's offer of positions in a government of national unity.

Such a conclusion looked uncertain amid the angry clashes that erupted between the candidates' supporters as the votes were being counted in the November 7 runoff, Guinea's first democratic election since the country gained independence from France half a century ago. The peaceful acceptance of the election results is a shining example of the democratic process for other countries in the region, such as Cote d'Ivoire, to follow.

The United States congratulates President-elect Conde on his victory, and we welcome his pledge to work with and serve all Guineans, regardless of political affiliation or ethnic background. We look forward to working with him as he forges a government reflective of the needs and aspirations of all Guineans. And we will partner with Guinea's new government in meeting the country's demands for democratic reforms, human rights and good governance. While the 2010 election was a great leap for Guinea, it is only a first step on the road to a true democratic transition.